“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'”Matthew 25:21 NLT
By Marci Seither, excerpted from the book Lakeside Retreat
I’ve never been good at fishing, but my grandpa used to catch stringers of fish from his small boat, and our son Scott always had luck whenever he cast out. The ultimate family fish-catching experience was when my grandmother reeled in a sailfish off the shore of Baja California, Mexico. It took hours to land that huge prize. The smile on her face in the Kodak print picture says it all.
Years later, she tried to teach me to set a hook, though it was a dismal failure.
“Really yank on it when you feel a bite,” she said.
The next time I sensed a nibble, I pulled the pole with all my strength. The little fish snapped out of the water, swung in an arch over my head, and landed on the dock behind me. That was the last time I ever went fishing.
Lydia and Gracie, Ginger’s granddaughters, felt the same way I did about fishing. The very thought of being close to a bass or sunfish was enough to make the girls rush out of the water.
Oddly, though, one day they stood up to their knees in the lake right next to the shore with a tiny net to catch minnows. It never occurred to them that minnows are actually fish. Scoop after scoop they dipped the net in without catching anything.
The minnows were quick and hard to see because of the shadows that the branches of the towering pines cast over the lake.
“What happens when they catch one?” I asked Ginger as we watched the comic routine of swoosh and strain.
“They just let it go,” she replied.
I watched the minnows swim and dart. Then l looked at the girls, zigging and zagging in hopes of catching at least one. They kept at it until they decided the minnows weren’t as interesting as jumping off the dock. After putting the nets back into their little buckets, they went up to the cabin to change into their suits.
I thought about how much I can be like those girls, chasing after every little thing that comes my way—serving on another committee, reading a new self-improvement book, listening to podcasts on efficiency and multitasking so I can do more in the same amount of time. All of these are like minnows. We chase after things that seem important, but if we want to keep the bigger picture in mind, maybe we really need to chase after our relationships with the Lord and others.
Lord, remind me to fully focus on that which lasts—the bigger matters of life that please you.
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Lakeside Retreat by Marci Seither
Looking for a way to escape the complexities of life and reconnect with God?
Close your eyes for a moment. Inhale. Can you smell the pine trees? Now listen. Can you hear the loon’s call echo off the water and the geese honking as they fly overhead? Now imagine tasting the smoke-tainted marshmallows straight out of the campfire. Think about feeling the warm summer sun on your skin and the cool breeze against your face. Lakeside Retreat is an invitation to surround yourself with the majesty of God’s creation and wrap yourself in the warm blanket of Scripture’s wonderful, eternal truths.
Let this collection of vacation-themed devotions, recipes, and DIY projects transport you to a quiet place of rest, renewal, and connection with God.